One dead and one hospitalized following altercation in Martinsburg

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — A Martinsburg man is dead following an altercation on Monday night, and another is in the hospital awaiting charges.

Police were called to the 500 block of W. John St for reports of a man later identified as Thomas M. Sims, 35, who had collapsed on a residential porch with an apparent stab wound. Medics attempted to treat Sims, but police say he died, seemingly due to his injuries.

Another man, later identified as Terry L. Arnett, 43, approached officers and notified police that he had also been stabbed in the neck. Arnett was accompanied by his girlfriend, identified as Jessica Baugher. Arnett was then taken to the hospital for treatment, and as of Tuesday was recovering in the ICU. He will face charges once he has recovered.

According to Martinsburg police, all involved parties are homeless. Arnett is facing charges for 2nd-degree murder and malicious wounding, both of which are felony charges.

Following their investigation, officers say Sims attempted to fight Arnett in the area of the 7/11 on W. King St. and Winchester Ave. Baugher gave a statement saying that Arnett didn’t engage at first and chased Sims away before walking back to the 7/11 to meet her.

Baugher said while she and Arnett were walking back to their tent, Sims reappeared and shouted at Arnett, causing Arnett to charge after him. According to Baugher, the two had a short altercation before Arnett returned to her, telling her he had been stabbed and to call for medical help. She then saw Sims run toward the 500 block of W. John St.

Arnett is currently at Berkeley Medical Center, being guarded by two MPD officers. Once released, he will be processed and appear before a Berkeley County State Magistrate.

Sims’s body was sent to Charleston for an autopsy, which is scheduled for Wednesday morning. His next of kin have been alerted.

The investigation is still ongoing. MPD asks that anyone with information contact the police department and speak with a member of the detective bureau.

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